By Tunde Rufai
The All Progressive Congress (APC), South Africa Chapter on Friday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to give assurance to Nigerians, especially aggrieved #EndSARS protesters that the alleged military attack on protesters at Lekki Toll Plaza would be investigated.
The group, under the leadership of Mr Bola Babarinde, in a statement in Lagos by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Sanni David, however commended Buhari for heeding the clamour to address the nation.
David said the address became imperative in view of the violence which engulfed some parts of the country, most especially Lagos, following the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at Lekki on Oct. 20.
According to him, however, the President’s speech disappointed many especially with its lack of attention to the incident at the Lekki toll gate.
“This incident is not one which should be glossed over in view of the incontrovertible evidence that shooting with live ammunition did happen at the toll gate and with several video evidences, it is indisputable that several people were injured and some have also died.
“In view of the fact that Mr. President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, his speech ought to have acknowledged this incident and given assurances that the matter would be properly investigated and the guilty culprits brought to book.
“This lack of acknowledgement has disenchanted many and there appears to be no hope that those who lost their lives or were injured during the Lekki Toll gate shooting would receive any form of justice,” David said.
He said that such approach makes many, most especially the youths to distrust the government.
According to him, in this age of technology, the truth is very difficult to hide and when those in political power refuse to be open with the truth, it leads to serious mistrust and disenchantment by the populace.
David said as highlighted in the President’s speech, the current government had implemented a lot of laudable youth-centred policies.
He said such included the creation of the N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund to provide opportunities for the youths and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Survival Fund, Farmermoni, Tradermoni, Marketmoni, N-Power, N-Tech, N-Agro and the likes.
David urged the government to do more on security to boost confidence of the people.
“#The EndSARS protest by the youth was a cry out for help against police brutality, harassment and killings perpetrated by SARS.
“However more of them have now even lost their lives trying to seek an end to the impunity by the armed men who ought to be protecting and securing their lives.”
David, who expressed sadness that some lost their lives, urged the President not to put up any attitude to suggest the victims of Lekki shooting might not receive any form of justice.
He said that the violence and arsons witnessed in Lagos and some other states again brought to the fore, the limited capacity of the state governors in managing the security of their states.
“The current level of carnage and bloodshed witnessed in Lagos and other parts of country may not have happened if the governors are directly in control of the security forces policing their respective states.
“Each state has its peculiarities and thus those at the helm of affairs in the states will better understand how to manage the internal security with their own security arm.
“The Federal security forces in such situations will only ever be needed if there is an external threat that can affect the sanctity of the whole nation,” he said.
David described the alleged use of force on peaceful protesters, as very undemocratic and should not be swept under the carpet, saying ” The incident should be properly investigated and those found guilty should be brought to book”.